likely they did not understand if they heard - they were fired upon, not single shots, but volleys, in the presence but without the command of officers. Whether any were killed in this way I do not know. It has been reported to me that soldiers have repeatedly fired from trains at quiet, peaceable citizens. I believe this, though I have not seen it. Very many have been arrested without any cause, except that they were reported secessionists, and not only this, but indignities have been put upon them, such as requiring them to "mark time," dig ditches, and sink-holes for filth. The present week, Mr. McAfee, speaker of the last house of representatives, was arrested and required by General Hurlbut to dig trenches in the hot sun, as I was told, all day. Hurlbut himself told me he set him at it. McAfee is no doubt a very bad and dangerous man; still it was admitted that it was very doubtful if any charge could be maintained against him. If he is now let go for want of cause to hold him, I fear he will be able to do us much more hurt than heretofore.
Now, sir, when these facts, which are bad enough, are greatly exaggerated by crafty men, they have led many, especially young men, into a bad cause from really noble and generous impulses. When once they are in, and have committed the overt act, it is hard to get them out. These things have tended greatly to weaken the Union cause, and in the State where I am acquainted there are far less Union men than two months since.
Many timid Union men, who have seen secessionists grow more numerous, bold, and threatening, have thought they would succeed. Many such, who can, have left the State or are intending to leave it, while perhaps a larger number think it is of no use to struggle against it, and bow to the storm. I have dwelt at length on the condition of things and the causes, that you may know better how to adapt the remedy.
Complaint is made by officers that they cannot get information. It is well known that the wrath of an unscrupulous foe falls on the head of an informer, and there never has been, and is not to-day, any adequate protection for such men. Few are bold enough to take the position.
You no doubt desire to retain all your present friends if possible, and strengthen their hands, while you weaken the enemy, and give them the least possible just occasion to complain. I think if an arrangement could be made to pay for the destruction and loss wantonly and unlawfully done by the soldiery, it would go far to place the Government right before the public mind. The Government is now industriously made responsible for these abuses. Then, if persons should be exempt from arrest for their opinions, for the same reason should not their property be protected also? Yet it is the published purpose of General Pope to hold communities responsible for acts of violence committed among them. This might do in a foreign country, but I do not think it can be done here, without alienating friends and making the feeling still more bitter on the part of the enemies. The present plan of appointing leading secessionists to look after and protect the railroads works in this way: They are authorized to call out who and as many as they please at all times. They use this to order out the Union men, to their great annoyance, intending, no doubt, if they fail fully to respond, to report them, and as far as possible have them held responsible for any damage. It is already creating great dissatisfaction. The principle of holding peaceable, quiet men responsible in a military contribution for damages done by lawless and violent men is one which can never meet with favor in the popular mind. It is said these roving bands cannot